CenturyLink Rebrands as Lumen

September 14th, 2020 by · 6 Comments

The big news at CenturyLink that was rumored over the weekend has officially come out. It's primarily a re-branding rather than anything more drastic, looking to breathe new life into the company's approach to the market.

CenturyLink itself is re-branding itself as Lumen Technologies, or Lumen for short, and will at the end of this week change its stock symbol to LUMN. Meanwhile, the fiber-served consumers and SMBs served by CenturyLink Fiber will also see a rebranding to Quantum Fiber. Only their more traditionally-served (i.e. legacy copper?) consumer and SMB businesses will still be served by the CenturyLink brand.

Lumen's new stated purpose? As Jeff Storey put it in the announcement, "Our people are dedicated to furthering human progress through technology. Lumen is all about enabling the amazing potential of our customers, by utilizing our technology platform, our people, and our relationships with customers and partners."

CenturyLink's infrastructure today includes 450K route miles connecting 170K buildings, a base with which they hope to do more with than they have been in the last couple years since the Level 3 merger etc.  The word 'lumen' is simply Latin for 'light', which re-emphasizes the fiberoptic core of today's networks.

There won't be any shift in the financials or reporting or anything like that. Rumors of a spin-off or sale of any piece of the company don't appear to be in the immediate plans, nor do any major reorganizations.  But who knows what the next steps will be. 

It looks as if CenturyLink is trying to shed some ILEC baggage and accelerate back toward the sort of position at the forefront of technological change that, say, Level 3 felt it had before the merger.  You know, rekindle the fires of innovation and all that.  How much this re-branding will help in that effort is an open question, but they'll be pulling out all the marketing stops for the rest of the year I'm sure.

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Categories: CLEC · Fiber Networks · ILECs, PTTs · Internet Backbones

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6 Comments So Far


  • anon says:

    They did need to try and change perceptions given they are doing well in enterprise. But disappointing lack of substance underneath the rebranding and stretching (a lot) for some of the verbiage in the PR. Networks have always struggled to get a bigger slice of the value chain between content and consumer, this isn’t going to change that. It also appears nothing substantively will change with respect to the mess that was created taking on the ILEC Titanic. I thought they would at least try to modify their reporting to isolate the legacy parts .

  • Anonymous says:

    It doesn’t change their horrible service in which you can’t get something provision through their systems without 2 dozen followups as to what’s going on with the order and continued shuffling to different reps for small busineses.

  • Smoke and Mirrors says:

    The real problem for them is their management does things that may look good on paper, but kill their customer service. No one owns an order anymore. Customers have to send emails to a generic email box. They’ve recently switched to pooled SE and CSM support so customers have no “team” to support them because that team changes every time a customer needs help. Their goal of creating an Amazon like ordering experience is going to fail spectacularly!

  • Parkite says:

    this is funny. changing your name doesn’t change who you are or what you stand for. their current back office support is a disaster and has been for quite some time. that might be a good place to start investing resources.

  • Anonymous says:

    maybe this third round of lipstick on top of the previous ones will be the shade that finally brings the boys to the barn.

    • Kidwell says:

      Truly sad…a new name on the same pile of networks, billing systems, people, problems, and obnoxious process. You’d think they would decouple some of the bloat from the new organization to make it “new,” and take the legacy stink off!
      Alas, they truly were new in 2012 after the Savvis acq, which should have been a boon to them had they stuck with a strategy long term, and invested in it. They could have held the number 2 behind Equinix. But they fumbled on public cloud, and refused the necessary ongoing investments and to make that holding a REIT. That’s on Glen Post, I would have hoped Storey would have seen that option and capitalized on it, but here we are with a new name and the same garbage people process and tech that was around in 2012. No growth here, nothing transformative on the horizon.

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